City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rash of deaths following trend of high case count 3-4 weeks ago. Continued plea to mask, vaccinate, stay home if unvaccinated, high risk or sick.
Austin, Texas – Following the fastest surge Austin-Travis County has seen, the community surpassed another grim milestone of 1,000 deaths.
August proved to be the pandemic’s most lethal month since COVID-19 vaccines became available earlier in the year. Hospitalizations and deaths spiked as the highly contagious Delta variant spread rapidly among the unvaccinated. The data and science continue to show that vaccinations are the most effective available tool to prevent severe illness, death, and to stop the spread and mutation of the COVID-19 and its variants. According to the Texas Department of Health Services, currently 31.91% of eligible Austin-Travis County residents are NOT fully vaccinated.
"With more cases comes more deaths and while symptoms may be insignificant to you, not wearing a mask, not social distancing, and not staying home when sick, are contributing to the spread that will eventually reach a loved one who dies.” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “We need to work together as individuals to survive as a community.”
Local deaths range in age from people as young as 20 to over 80 years of age. Deaths were concentrated among those over 60 years old, although the Delta variant produced a troubling increase in hospitalizations and life support among children and young adults. If you or a loved one is positive, request Monoclonal Antibody Therapy here.
“Almost all of our recent deaths are unvaccinated,” said Interim Austin Public Health Director Adrienne Sturrup. “When you get vaccinated, you are showing your kids leadership. When you wear a mask, you are teaching them to respect being a part of the collective community. You are instilling values they will carry with them throughout their lives.”
The APH surveillance dashboard provides more information on the demographics of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Austin-Travis County is in Stage 5 of the Risk-Based Guidelines
Austin-Travis County is currently in Stage 5, the highest risk level of the APH Risk-Based Guidelines. The guidelines outline recommended behavior for individuals at different stages of community spread. The most recent guidelines recommend everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks and follow the basic protocols of social distancing and handwashing. These guidelines apply at gatherings, dining, shopping and traveling.
Testing Information. Showing symptoms? Exposed to a positive case? Get tested and quarantine.
Testing options are available county-wide through pharmacies and clinics. APH manages two testing sites where appointments are not required although people who want a COVID-19 test are encouraged to schedule an appointment to avoid wait times.
Those who do not have access to the internet can call 3-1-1. Those with health insurance should call their doctor or insurance company to review their options.
Vaccinations are free and at a location nearby. No identification is required.
COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require identification nor insurance. Residents can locate providers in their area using Vaccines.gov or they can text their zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.
For additional business guidance, visit www.ATXrecovers.com for recommendations to help prioritize the health and safety of employees and customers.
Additional information regarding COVID-19, testing, and vaccinations can be found at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.